Stagecoach has introduced 26 electric hybrid buses in Oxford
Stagecoach has launched the first electric hybrid buses in Oxford.
The 26 double-deckers emit 30% less carbon than standard vehicles and will operate on some of the busiest city centre routes.
The company have invested £7.5m in the fleet which is also partly funded by the Department for Transport's Green Bus Fund.
It is part of a series of improvements agreed between Stagecoach, the Oxford Bus Company and Oxford County Council.
"This is a great day for Oxford," said Martin Sutton, Managing Director for Stagecoach in Oxfordshire.
"We believe the introduction of these groundbreaking new buses on the busiest routes in Oxford will make a major contribution to reducing carbon and other emissions, as well as encouraging even more people to make the greener choice of travelling into the city by bus."
The new fleet follows the 26 new Oxford Tube coaches introduced in summer 2009 and 17 double-deckers in Witney earlier this year.
These were fitted with Euro 5 engines and EEV (Enhanced Environment Vehicle), the 'super clean' standard recommended by the European Commission.
Like Stagecoach, the Oxford Bus Company also has its share of green credentials. The company claims to have the lowest emissions of any operator in the UK.
"We are very pleased to see this type of vehicle coming to Oxford," said Philip Kirk, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director.
"We have kept a very close eye on the results from similar buses run by our sister company in London, and we genuinely hope that hybrid technology takes things forward.
"For the last 15 years we have been concentrating on the control of potentially harmful emissions from buses, and we want to make sure that our efforts and investment are squarely focussed on the difficulties with Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) in central Oxford which is why our new vehicles, which have just come into service, address issues with NOx.
"Having said that, the hybrid offers real reductions in carbon emissions and we look forward to seeing them in service.
"Between Oxford's two main bus companies we are setting the standard for others in the UK.
"By the end of 2010, 91% of the Oxford Bus city fleet will be compliant with the city council's Low Emission Zone standards, three years in advance of the deadline."